Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Major Blow to Business Week

I almost thought I was hallucinating when I read this column in Portfolio.com: my alma mater Business Week has lost not one, but two of its top editors in one fell swoop. They are Frank Comes and Mary Kuntz, both assistant managing editors and both migrating to McKinsey & Co.

These names may not mean much to most people, but these were veteran editors and both very highly regarded. They provided the kind of institutional continuity that this magazine sorely needs, in the wake of massive staff turnover and morale-crunching layoffs.

Frank headed the magazine's international staff for many years, and more recently was in charge of financial coverage. Mary ran the magazine's corporate coverage. I never worked with either of them directly, but they were surely among the best editors there. The loss of these editors is a severe blow to the magazine, and comes after a year-end bloodletting that was particularly savage.

Portfolio.com's Jeff Bercovici reports:

The rumor inside is that Comes and Kuntz took buyouts -- unlike the 12 staffers who were laid off as part of a reorganization in December. Year to date, BusinessWeek's ad pages are down 26 percent, according to Mediaweek.
Yecch. That last number is especially startling. It makes me wonder if BW is going to survive over the long haul. As I pointed out in a recent blog item, the magazine has been losing $20 million a year, and staffers were told at a December staff meeting that the magazine will be sold if the situation does not improve in four years.

The departure of two top editors is hardly a vote of confidence, either in the future of the magazine or the management of its new editor in chief, Steve Adler.

© 2008 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

Digg my article


Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner